s .-:^:i iMflHHBHBlBmMliisill wdl fi^^^^^^^^^BBmS^i k«. *^-^ ■/ «^ ....•-.-.•.,•■■ ^^:i //^ it Song OCTOBE ^ ^^K- ^* ■'% ) V 2011 CONTENTS 10 More Tlian a Memory by C.larke ( .. Jones Reseai'chers haxc lold us wlial iiccils In he done, aiid rural landowners are k('\ li > 1 1 ir l)()l)\\ liilcs rccoNciT. Tales Fi'oiii the Swans Cut l)\ ( Jiarlic Pclrocci This Eastern Shore ci'eck w ilh ;in uniiMial name is ricli in holh culliiial liislorN and recreational opporl unities. 14 18 lAaeeooiis, llabies, and More by Marie Majarov W hile enjoxinj; \()uroutd()oi'|)Ui'suits. he niindrul oliisks ineludinyiuiiinals thai mavearr\ ral)ies. Where No ( )llier lioal W ill Go by Tee Clarkson A new generation of hunters is taking a f liferent tack in their f|uest for waterfowl. OO Al 1 he lleat-l oIN ii'i^iiiia Naturally by (jail lirow ii Dedicated teachers and staff explain, in liicii' words. win this (Mnii'onmental educaliun program lias h( ■en si > ^u(■(•('^^^u I. '^ /" M\ Fishing lor lleeoveiy In King Montgomery^ Few |>r(>grams can match I lie dedication of Project lleiiling Waters to our militiu'x \cteraiis. 28 AFIELD AND AFLOAT 30 Wliilelail Riology • 32 Off the Leash • 33 Photo fips • 34 Dining T I) ABOUT Tlli; COVTR: "We iicxcf icalK ..wn :i iImi^.is innclias I u ns us." <,..,„■ 11,11 Sl()i-\ oil |ia-i- IS. ' l'",ric lliillicrluiil m k RE^ -d P#nM r .^li/Mi^H BOB DUNCAN Executive Director www.wsfr75.com This months issue of Virginia Wildlife covers a number of top- ics of great interest to me personally. While I grew up in Southwest Virginia, an area not known for its bobwhite quail pop- ulation, I had the opportunity during my college days to work on a quail project in West Tennessee at the fabled Ames Plantation, which plays host to the national bird dog field trials. Hobart Ames left: the 18,400-acre working plantation to the University of Ten- nessee with the caveat that they maintain the bobwhite popula- tions in the area. As an undergraduate student, I assisted others with population surveys and can recall that quail numbers there were the highest that this old mountain boy had ever seen. I have since hunted many other areas in the deep South and yet nothing ever compared to the quail numbers at Ames during the late 1960s and early '70s. Unfortunately, quail numbers de- clined — along with much of their preferred habitat — during the ensuing decades, leading us to todays restoration efforts and a na- tional conservation initiative directed at Mr. Bob's entire range. Read fiirther inside about our collective efforts to boost quail num- bers to former, robust levels. Maintaining healthy wildlife species continues to be a subject of great importance to all of us, and that is why we should take spe- cial note of related diseases — whether it is a relatively new disease like chronic wasting disease or white-nose syndrome, or one of the oldest, rabies. This month's issue contains a feature about rabies and raccoons. It serves as an important reminder that we do in fact have several species of wildlife — including skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats — that are at high risk for rabies. Also in this issue you will find part one of a series on deer biol- ogy, with particular focus on the upcoming season. I have been ac- cused of being a frustrated deer biologist for the past 37 years of my wildlife career, and I confess to being a lifelong student of white- tails. I have greatly enjoyed restoring, managing, and hunting these magnificent game animals! Just remember that October is the month of the hunter's moon, which means that gun deer season will soon follow. Finally, I recommend the essay on Project Healing Waters to you, as this program to help disabled veterans is making a real dif- ference in the lives of our service men and women who have suf- fered debilitating injuries while defending our freedoms. My sincere thanks to all of our veterans and to the volunteers who are contributing to the success of this initiative as well as others like the Wounded Warrior Project. Enjoy this wonderful time of the year and, wherever your out- door adventures cake you, make safety your number one priorit)'. MISSION STATEMENT To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Cxmstitution of Virginia; To promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appre- ciation for Virginias fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fisliing, and boating opportunities. Dedicated to the Conservation of Virginia's Wildlife and Natural Resources VOLUMH 72 NUMBER 10 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA Bob McDonnell, Governor HUNTING & FISHING LICENSE FEES Subsidized this publication SECRETARY' OF NATURAL RESOURCES Douglas W. Domenech DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FLSHERIES Bob Duncan Executive Director MEMBERS OF THE BOARD Lisa Caruso, Church Road J. Brent Clarke, III, Great Falls Curtis D. Colgate, Virginia Beach James W. Hazel, Oakton Randy J. Kozuch, Alexandria Mary Louisa Pollard, Irvington F. Scott Reed, Jr., Manakin-Sabot Leon O. Turner, Fincastle Charles S. Yates, Cleveland MAGAZINE STAFF Sally Mills, Editor Lee Walker, Ron Messina, Julia Dixon, Contributing Editors Emily Pels, Art Director Carol Kushlak, Production Manager Matt Knox, Staff Contributor Printing by Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA. Virginia Wildlife (ISSN 0042 6792) is published monthly by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Send all subscription orders and addre,ss changes to Virginia WildMfe, P. O. Box 830, Boone, Iowa 500.36. Address all other communications concerning this publication to Vir- ginia Wildlife, P. O. Box 1 1 104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230-1104. Subscription rates are I $12.95 for one year, $23.95 for two years; $4.00 per each back issue, subject to availability. Out-of-country rate is $24.95 for one year and must be paid in U.S. funds. No re- funds for amounts less than $5.00. To subscribe, call toll free (800) 710-9369. POSTMASTER; Please send .il address changes to Virginia Wildlife, PO. Box 830, Boont, Iowa 50036. Postage for periodicals paid at Richmond, Vir- ginia and additional entn,' offices. Copyright 201 1 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. All rights reserved. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shall afford I to all persons an equal access to Department programs and I facilities without regard to race, color, religion, national ori- 1 gin, disability, sex, or age. If you believe that you h.-ive been [ discriminated against in any program, activity or tacliity, f please write to: Virginia Department of Game and Inland I Fisheries, ATTN; Compliance Officer, (4010 \X'c.si Broad | Street.) R O. Box 1 1 104, Richmond, Virginia 23230-1 104. This publication is intended for general informational pur- 1 poses only and every effort has been made to ensure its ac- curacy. Tlic Information contained herein does not serve as I a legal representation offish and wildlife laws or regulations. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries does I not assume responsibility for any change in dates, rcgula lions, or information that may occur after publication. ^3 FSC MIX Paper from responsible sources FSC* C005991 l» '.ftf. 'Wi-:; Mote Thaiia ^vf «\ » 7i *-7 » ^ iN IV V- X*i I ii ^V- •J^ iU<i ^^ ^ 'f o> \ > J % 4 *«.* •"•"•^i i1k«: ^<;<«'.i : >▼ > V- >^ /^! f ^ % >wl-1dblowski Photo L^ by Clarke C.Jones The aroma of grandmother's home- made rolls slipped through her kitchen window and onto the screened-in back porch. As I sat on the glider watching the big wooden paddles of the ceil- ing fan tr}' to cool an August sunset, I could hear the clinking of a spoon, emptying out a jar of her homemade strawberry preserves. "What's on the menu tonight?" my grandfather inquired. "Hot rolls, dripping with butter and strawberry preser\'es, sliced tomatoes, ham, mashed potatoes, tea, and chocolate cake with white icing — and nothing green," I de- clared, feeling very important. One of the great things about spending the night with my grandparents was that I got to pick what we would eat for supper. "Do you mind if we eat 'alfresco' tonight? Wc have some great entertainment planned for your visit," said my grandfather. He was alwavs throwing words like "al- fresco" at me, but a( len years old, 1 thought I was already grown up and didn't want him to know that I didn't know what the word meant. Besides, 1 knew I could ask my grand- mother later. "What entertainment?" I questioned. "Tliere's no entertainment in Midlothian!" Midlothian at that time was a patchwork of homes, small gardens, and weedy fields of broom straw and beggar lice, dirt or tar-and- gravel roads. Midlothian Turnpike, near where I lived, was still two lanes and the clos- est entertainment was a drive-in theater nine miles away. It would be a few years before I even heard the word "subdivision. " "Ah, my young skeptic, you are wrong about that," corrected my grandfather. "Mr. Bobby White, the master of ceremonies, should be starting the show any time now. He will be announcing that it's time for the rest of the birds to start their evening songs, and then the crickets and cicadas will join in. Ihe grand finale is the light show put on bv the lightning btigs — first-class entertainment for the price, if you ask me." Later that night as I was just about ready to turn off the bedroom light, niv grandfather came into my room to check on me. "What ditl you think of tonight's show?" he asked. "Pretty good, " I replied. "Does the bob- white really start things off every evening?" "In a manner of speaking," answered my grandfather. "What he is really doing is CiJl- ing his family, telling them it's time to gather 'round for the night." "Like dad — when he comes home from work and announces 'Hello, I'm home!'," I agreed. "Sort of like that," said my grandfather. "He is telling his covey, 'Hello, I'm home', but I don't hear him as often as I used to. I think maybe he might be telling you and me good-bye." Two years later the quail and the grand- parents had all said good-bye and, about that same time, biologists and quail hunters start- ed working on ways to halt the decline of the quail population, not only in Virginia but throughout the South and Midwest. For the next fifty years, various ideas, studies, and ini- tiatives were developed to bring back quail, and yet the quail population still dropped steadilv. Some folks eventually began to real- ize that if you keep doing what you have al- ways done, and the results still come up negative, then perhaps a change is in order. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFisfiVA.com Shane Wellendorf, who gave me a tour of the taciliry. I arrived there during the last week of banding season, when a half-dozen scientists were banding and attaching transmitters to the quail. The weight, age, and sex of each bird was recorded before returning it to the exact location where it was captured the night before. Wellendorf and I drove through some of the 1 1 5,000 acres under easement in what is known as the Greater Red Hills Region. As we rode along, Shane pointed out some of the complexities of quail restoration. "Think of the quail as a 6- to 8-ounce turkey that is at the bottom of the food chain. Just about every predator that walks, crawls, or flies wants to eat it. The quail would rather walk than fly, and it cannot move well through thick grass, like fescue. It needs cover to protect it from avian predators, plants that attract bugs in the spring to give the chicks i much-needed protein, and plants that pro- duce seeds in the fall and winter to carry it • ® through those lean months." The Red Hills area of Georgia, according to Shane, is comprised of over 350,000 acres On a trip to Tall Timbers Research Sta- learn what new ideas were in the works. Tall and is one of the last great bastions for the tion and Land Conservancy near Tallahassee, Timbers, according to their literature, is the bobwhite. A large number of private planta- Florida, in January, I was able to review some oldest and largest bobwhite research program tions are linked together in the area and have of the current quail studies firsthand and in the coimtry. I met with game biologist been for decades. "We now know that quail will not make it very long on small amounts of acreage. You need at least 500 acres to maintain a sustainable covey population. The exception is if you can get a number of small- er, adjoining landowners to put in quail restoration programs, then you have a chance to improve the quail population," stated Wellendorf I told Shane that Marc Puckett, a small game biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, was working on a program in Virginia similar to what he just described. "We know Marc and his work in Virginia," Shane replied, adding, "He is a well-respected biologist." Upon my return, I called Marc and asked him how the new quail restoration plan in Virginia was progressing. Marc suggested I speak with some people who have been in- volved in the program for a few years now: Phil Bain in Southampton County and Den- Top, a quail hen incubates her eggs. Bottom, land management at Tall Timbers focuses on nis Owens, who has a farm just outside of creating prime quail habitat. Blackstone. OCTOBER 2011 ♦ Help Us Keep Quail Songs Alive! If you own rural land and think your property nnight be suitable habitat for the bobwhite, contact one of the offices nearest you: Smithfield: (757) 357-7004, ext. 126 Fredericksburg: (540) 899-9492, ext. 101 Farmville: (434) 392-4171, ext. 106 Verona: (540) 248-6218, ext. 108 Christiansburg: (540) 381-4221, ext. 128 Project Leader, Marc Puckett: (434) 392-8328 A member of our team will discuss your property with you and determine that it is a good fit for the quail recov- ery program. We are currently concen- trating our efforts in the counties of Bland, Wythe, Augusta, Halifax, Greene, Madison, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Orange, Essex, King & Queen, King William, Greensville, Sussex, and Southampton. What's in it for you? ♦ On-site visits from a quail biologist ♦ Financial assistance for habitat improvement ♦ A management packet, including a DVD and quail booklet ♦ A certificate suitable for framing ♦ Attractive property signs And finally, what you can't put a price- tag on: the satisfaction of helping in the statewide effort to keep quail songs alive. For anyone interested in improving habitat for quail, this video offers plenty of food for thought and resources to help you do so. Free. Contact Marc Puckett at marc, puckett (5)dgif.virginia. gov. Here, a scientist bands a bobwhite. Below, a young chick symbolizes the success of Tall Timbers research efforts. Phil Bain manages approximately 9,000 acres of timber and farmland for his family. He began working with Marc Puckett in the early 1990s. "When we first started, we put only a small amount of our land in quail habi- tat, and I have had to learn the hard way that to get any significant results, I needed to put a lot more land in habitat production. I realize not everyone has large tracts of land, but if they can do something on their land and their adjoining neighbor has good habitat, then they can feed off that situation," stated Phil. "I would encourage people — from the start — to utilize as many acres as you can, and from the beginning you need to realize the importance of burning your fields or other proposed quail habitat. We are on a three-year rotation for controlled burns in our pine stands. One thing that a fire does is help pro- mote warm-season grasses, which are another part of the equation in restoring quail," con- tinued Bain. He also pointed out that warm-season grasses are what help quail survive by giving them nesting cover and seeds to eat in the fall, and that these grasses also attract bugs in the The ultimate goal, as shown here, is to return banded quail back to their natural habitat and behaviors (below). spring for the chicks to eat. Ihinning your pine forest also helps, but how much you thin will often depend on how the financial num- bers work for each individual. "Don't expect tremendous improvement in your quail pop- ulation the first year, but after the third year, the quail population should really ramp up. I would say that since I started with Marc's program, I now have three times as many quail on our property than before we started," Bain added. Landowner Dennis Owens has a 235- acre farm outside Blackstone and after work- ing with Marc Puckett for at least eight years is pleased with his quail restoration efforts, as well. "One of rhe nice things that has hap- pened after getting quail habitat established and having several coveys on my property is that my neighbors now have quail on their properries — and that is something that had not happened before. Some ot my neighbors have gotten on board with their own pro- grams. They are doing some tree removal, some burning, and planting lespedeza," ex- plained Dennis. Owens agreed about the need for con- trolled burns, as well, and suggested that you hire a contractor with liability insurance to do the burns and that you include yourself as a named insured. The reader has probably re- alized that the use of fire to kill fescue, un- wanted cool-season grasses, invasive trees, and to clean forest understory is an extremely important tool in bringing back quail. Bill Palmer, a Virginia Tech graduate in the 1980s, and now Senior Scientist and As- sociate Research Director at Tall Timbers, was quoted in the May 2005 issue o'^ Shoot- ing Sportsman magazine as saying that, "Quail populations begin to blink out after a two-year lapse in burning. If you go past three, you lose almost all the benefits. " Dennis Owens noted, "After about two years, I began to see some ol the results of my work. Based on the amount of property you have, there will be a leveling-out of the num- ber of coveys." An essential part of quail management is planting shrubs. "There are a number of shrubs that will work, but if you were only going to do one type of shrub, 1 would plant VA-70 lespedeza," said Owens. He also pointed out that there are a number of cost-share programs available at this writ- ing and landowners should evaluate which program works best for them. Both Phil Bain and Dennis Owens have been pleased with the successes they have had with quail restoration but both point out that it is not a one-shot deal. It takes a long-term commitment to keep a quail population vi- able on your property. If you think quail restoration is a lot of work for a little bird, you are correct. But to bring back a species that has been in decline for over a half-century is going to take some work. Consider, however, that improving the environment for quail aids other species of songbirds and animals which prefer a similar habitat. So it is not just quail that you are assisting, and as my grand- father used to say, "Anything worth having is worth working for." ?f Clarke C. Jones is a freelance writer who spends his spare time with his black lab, Luke, hunting up good stories. You can read more by Clarke at his website, iininv. clarkecjones com. mwimmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmimmmmimm To learn more about quail restoration and management, visit these websites: • Getting Started with Virginia's Quail Action Plan: www.dgif.virginia.gov/quail/ • Tall Timbers: www.talltimbers.org ©Maslowski Photo by Charlie Petrocci The Eastern Shore is dissected, bi- sected, and pulsated by dozens of small tidal creeks and streams, and even things called guts. Looking at an aerial shot you will see numerous waterways snaking into the landsoipe's interior, creating aquatic access routes along both the ba)' and the sea sides of this long, thin peninsula. ITiese tidal creeks carry the daily ebb and flow of the tide, which is the lifeblooci for a multi- tude of species, including humans. One of those tidal paths that has become important to both wildlife and people is located on the seaside oi the shore, only a few miles west of Chincoteague. It goes by the un-dignificd name of Swans Gut. Swans Gut C "reek is located on the main- land just below the Maryland-Virginia line and runs from Chincoteague Bay, under Vir- ginia Route 679, into Maryland, where it more or less dead ends at what is now known as Big Mill Pond dam. Tliis unassuming, slow moving creek meanders a whopping 6 miles through marshes wrapped by maritime forests and a few farms. A housing develop- ment encroaches on the shoreline at its mouth. The skinny, tidal waterway twists and turns, well as a gut should, thus living up to its uniqtie name. That being said, what it lacks in size and title it makes up for in biodiversity and sheer beauty. The creek is shallow, averaging only 2 feet of depth during low tide, at best. There are holes and sandbars as well, so diis is defi- nitely the domain for canoes or kayaks. Drop-in sites are limited to the Route 679 Bridge or down Route 712, just off the village of Sign Post. Addition;il boat access is provid- ed at the sprawling housing development called Captains Cove, located on its northern bank, lower end. But you must be a home- owner to use the ramp there. WATER SPORTS 1 first began to explore Swans Gut by kayak back in the 1980s, to see what secrets this strangely named waterway held and to check out its sporting potential. My first trip was a kayak fishing expedition using a light tackle spinning rod as a probe. Launching from be- neath the Route 679 Bridge area, I caught white perch and small rockfish on the eastern side of the creek using small jigs and spoons. West of the bridge, in the fresher end of the creek, soft plastics and jigs took largemouth bass, crappie, and sunfish, all the way to the tangled growth area at the dam on the Mar)'- land end of the waterway. Swans Gut holds other catchable fish species, including hickory shad, catfish, and yellow perch. Fly fishing during a full moon, ebb tide on the lower end of the creek can be a great way to find stripers during the fall. Crabbing is also popular in Swans Gut, with 10 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Vestiges of the oyster boom of the late 20"" century that drove the economic machine of towns around Swans Gut still remain. Below, tundra swans often use the creek as a migration route. the bridge area the most popular spot from which to drop a trap or chicken neck. Because the creek is tidal, a Virginia saltwater fishing license allows you to fish both state waters. Ever since that first fishing trip, I realized this creek also had potential for waterfowl gunning. During many cold winter seasons, I ofi:en found myself paddling at pre-dawn, sometimes nudging the canoe through a thin lip of ice. The marsh-lined banks and concave coves of the creek were great places to set up an ambush. This was skinny water hunting at its best, so a canoe, some camo burlap for cover, a handful of decoys, along with a falling tide is all that was needed to enjoy some great gunning. Waterfowl here includes black ducks, widgeon, wood ducks, gadwalls, mal- lards, mergansers, buffleheads, and Canada geese. Though there is some low-key fishing action available and waterfowl hunting can sometimes be exciting, Swans Gut is by no (cont. on p. 13) OCTOBER 20 n ♦ 11 11 /-<" 1^ The Name Game Since colonial times, the rivers and creeks of the East- ern Shore have served as important habitat for wildlife as well as early settlers. They were also navigable high- ways, as their waters carried the subsistence and trade that helped keep those settlers alive. Some chartered water courses were obviously more impor- tant than others. I first noted the name Swan's Gut on a copy of a colonial-era map while doing research in Williams- burg back in 1987. The map of the mid-Atlantic region byThomas Basset was created in 1676 and it ironically listed Swan's Gut among more prominent East Coast place names. It also appeared on a map of the late 1680s. With my interest piqued, I later found Swan's Gut drawn on a map of America done in 1755 by a Robert de Vaugondy and, later, on a map of North America created by John Blair in 1770, which also in- cluded Boston, New York, Norfolk, and Charleston. Why in the world would little, obscure Swans Gut Creek be listed on maps going back centuries? (It sometimes also appears as Swan's Cut.) There had to be more to this story than just an unusual name. Part of the puzzle is solved by the location of the creek. Lying just south of Mosquito Point near Cockle Creek, colonial-era ships would enter Chincoteague Inlet and move up Cockle Creek, into Mosquito Creek (next to NASA Wallops), and then along a thin shore- line channel up to Swans Gut Creek. This route and the once-open, nearby Green Run Inlet on Assateague Is- land offered trade access for ocean ships bringing in supplies, because goods could be offloaded on the old colonial road (Route 679) and taken over land 10 miles to the Pocomoke River at Snow Hill, Maryland. There they would be loaded onto boats to be shipped south to the bay. Swans Gut was also used as a shortcut for sup- plies bound for the Chesapeake using this route dur- ing the American Revolution, when the British controlled the mouth of the bay. In those days. Swans Gut was deeper, navigable, and had two mills operat- ing on it as well. The word "gut" is an old name that is frequently used to identify tidally infused creeks and streams throughout the Atlantic coast. As the name implies, gut— such as that of an animal— is a long, twisting in- testine, shaped in theory like the long, twisting turns of Eastern Shore tidal creeks. Gut is also interpreted as a channel or a narrow defile. It can also be assumed that Swans Gut was so named because a large gather- ing of tundra swans may have been present when the first chart makers put the place on the map. And this makes sense, since the entrance to Swans Gut is from Chincoteague Bay— an important feeding area along the Atlantic Flyway. On the other hand, it's possible these early car- tographers confused snow geese with tundra swans. Regardless, you now know the rest of the story. An early 19th-century house in old Franklin City harkens back to a time when trains carried fish and oys- ters from area shucking houses, including Swans Gut. means a consumptive sportsmans recreation haven. But you can have a wonderful water experience without toting either gun or rod. Early spring and late fall are the best sea- sons to be paddling among the cordgrass and saltmeadow grass lining the shores, catching glimpses of egrets, herons, terns, ospreys, and bald eagles. The upland banks, lined with loblolly pines and various hardwoods, and flecked by a few groundsel bushes, play host to kingfishers, wood ducks, barred owls, war- blers, and other passerine species. Otters can often be seen in the upper end of the creek along with muskrats, while fox and raccoons hunt the banks and white-tailed deer come down to drink during the evenings. An evening paddle will also treat you to the sounds of wildlife such as owls, night hawks, herons, and late-flying ducks. HUMAN SUBSISTENCE Native American groups who seasonally uti- lized the creek included the Pocomokes and Chincoteagues, with village sites just south of Horntown, near Mosquito Creek and around Snow Hill. They used the area for hunting, fishing, and trapping until the colonial peri- od, when they were forced out by disease and by the deception of encroaching English set- tlers. In 1668 Virginia and Maryland officials contested the creek land ownership and drew a state boundary line that went from the Chesapeake to the ocean and cut Swans Gut in half. But it was a good cut for Virginia; the state actually gained thousands of acres from the previously proposed boundary. There are several small colonial-era vil- lages located within a few miles of Swans Gut that were of some historical significance many years ago. Horntown, once a large community, attracted shoppers and traders from Chincoteague who came over by boat. Another village is Sign Post, located just above Horntown, which back in the late 19th century was a busy crossroads community with shops, a church, and a tavern. Another community of note was Sinnickson, located near the mouth of Swans Gut, ofFRoute 712. It boasted stores, a restaurant, docks, a hotel, a swimming beach, and later, even an amuse- ment park and a movie theater at adjacent Red Hills. The small resort attracted thou- sands of people during the 1890s. Now there is nothing left but some rotted docks and a few old houses. And glaring across Swans Gut Seafood harvesting once supported a rail line to nearby Franklin City and a connecting ferry to Chincoteague Island. Today, a few crabbers still pull pots near the mouth of the creek. Below, a largemouth bass took a jig in the creek near the Route 679 bridge. is the huge community of Captains Cove, with its omnifarious potential for water pol- lution due to the sheer number of homes. Just a couple of miles away from the creek mouth are both the communities of Greenbackville and Franklin City. These sto- ried towns were economically bound to the bount)' of the coastal bays, as oysters, fish, and clams helped to build prosperity during the early 20th-century heydays. Ferries from Chincoteague and a direct train from Snow Hill connected oysters to buyers until the 1933 hurricane and the Great Depression took its toll on those towns. The oyster houses around Swans Gut are now long gone. There is something to be said about fish- ing, hunting, or just paddling on small water- ways that share a human history as well. I think it adds cultural depth to the outdoor ex- perience. So if you are lucky to paddle the gut on a crisp late-fall morning and your canoe is pushing through slivers of ice just as daylight is creeping over the horizon of distant As- sateague Island, and black ducks and widgeon zoom by like missiles, adjust your eyes as the sun is greeted by thousands of snow geese ris- ing off to plunder distant fields. And as you close your eyes and listen to their guttural calls, you may also hear the distant boom of can- nons or muskets from ghost ships long since vanished. Swans Gut has left more than a mark on ancient maps to this brave new world. ?f Charlie Petrocci is a maritime heritage researcher, lecturer, and consultant who specializes in coastal tmditions such tis fisheries, seafood, and community fijlklife. He has lived on the Shore for 25 years. y ^^^^^l|i^ f«*« «* indfulness in the Outdoors by Marie IVIajarov raditionally, bats have been con- sidered the major carriers of ra- bies. In actuality, say DGIF Jogists, "less than one-half of one per- cent of all bats" in Virginia are rabid. Cau- tion around bats is absolutely necessary, but as a good friend learned on a morning walk to his chicken coop with the family dog in tow, an unexpected encounter with a raccoon can present greater danger and consequence. .j^ "In Virginia, raccoons are by far the Bmals that are most frequently diag- pised with rabies," says State Public Balth Veterinarian Dr. Julia Murphy, an _ pthority on rabies with the Virginia De- partment of Health (VDH). Laboratory- confirmed cases of animal rabies in Virginia for 2010 included 315 raccoons, 128 skunks, 60 foxes, and 19 bats — all of which are considered high risk species for rabies. More telling states Dr. Murphy is that, "Typically in Virginia, close to 50 E;ent of aU raccoons tested are rabid, ch is indicative of how endemic rac- coon rabies is in Virginia and the East." The ensuing chase outside the chick- , en coop with our friend's dog and the stag- Ib'ing raccoon — later confirmed as ftld — fortunately did not result in fur ^ft ng or major wounds (raccoons can be ^ fierce fig^iters) , but with saliva contact a se- rious possibihty, it was traumatic In such cases, strict rules are enforced by VDH to insure that humans are pro- tected from this fatal disease. The dog, "Currie" for courageous, which he in- deed was in this frightening situation, was up-to-date on his rabies vaccinations but still required to have a 45-day con- finement period and a booster shot. An animal without an up-to-date vaccina- tion would face grim consequences, most likely euthanasia. The enforcement of pet vaccination, public education, and prompt prophy- lactic treatment for humans (now a series of 4-5 intramuscular injections, not the painful abdominal ones previously used) have dramatically reduced the incidence of human rabies in the U.S. An accom- pUshment unquestionably to be celebrat- ed, but not cause to become lax. There is stiU serious risk. "Write about this" my friend urged, "I didn't know or think much about rabies today," he said, adding, "People need to be aware!" Our friend's experience gives one much to consider: rabies, and most im- portantly, the necessity for knowledge and awareness of rabies and other wildlife diseases that can potentially affect hu- mans . . .what I would call "mindfulness" in the outdoors. Raccoons Raccoons (Procyon lotor), weighing 10-25 lbs., are shaggy, grayish-brown, nocturnal mammals with black masks and ringed tails found throughout our commonwealth. Positively cute, raccoons are thought by many to be related to pan- das: Red Pandas native to Nepal, Myan- mar, and China. They also play an important role in our environment by helping control certain animal and plant populations: A raccoon may eat an entire wasp nest including larvae, or the berries of a poison ivy plant. Carnivores with eclectic food habits, raccoons need to develop thick layers of fat for winter warmth when they layup in dens torpid, but not hibernating. Carrion, crayfish, grasshoppers, com, worms, bee- des, nuts, mice, bird eggs, snakes, tiutle e^s, berries, garden veggies, and soybeans are a sampling of their favorite treats. Rac- coons breed in late winter with hghdy- fiirred babies arriving in April and May. Survival in the wild can last as long as 16 years, but averages 2 to 5 years. Bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and great homed owls are their natural predators. Housing choices for these superb run- ners, climbers, and swimmers are hollow trees, branches, rock crevices in close prox- imity to water, or occasionally ground dens, but raccoons will gladly move into attics, bams, and crawl spaces if an oppor- tunity presents. Nimble toes make open- ing doors, manipulating latches, and raiding garble cans simple. Raccoons will even commute many miles via storm sewers to dine at restaurant dumpsters. OCTOBER 20n ♦ "*.^H^. DGIF's Furbearer Project Leader, Mike Pies, describes Virginias raccoon populations as "slowly increasing, particularly in urban areas." Regular surveys of hunter harvest, bowhunter wildlife observations, and rural mail carriers observing dead wildlife, all pro- vide essential data to monitor and manage raccoon population trends. Another impor- tant effort is underway by the USDA, through a cooperative project with VDH and CDC and the support of DGIF to use air- dropped baits containing oral rabies vaccine to attempt to prevent the westward spread of the disease. Unlike other species threatened by de- velopment and habitat fragmentation, rac- coons thrive, adapting comfortably to life in cities, suburbs, and rural communities. This creates the potential for frequent encounters between humans, their pets, and rabies. Rabies Rabies is an incurable infection that attacks the brain and nervous system, leading to death. Caused by a virus found in the saliva and brains of rabid animals, it is transmitted via a bite or any contact with saliva to the eyes, nose, mouth, or open wound. Incubation of the disease can take weeks to months; thus, the necessity of strict regulations enforced by VDH. Wildlife Veterinarian Belinda Burwell of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center (BRWC) in Clarke County and Virginia Master Natural- ist educator, explains that rabies occurs in two forms: "dumb" and "furious." Purious rabies is "the type often described in books and movies where the animal becomes overly ag- gressive, biting at everything in sight." Dumb rabies is actually more common and marked by an animal "becoming very quiet and not showing a normal fear of humans. These ani- mals do not behave normally: They may walk in circles; appear to be blind; and sometimes drool because of an inability to swallow. Rabid animals are usually unsteady on their feet and often wobble or stagger as they walk." Not all animals that are quiet or stagger are rabid. Other issues, like distemper, may be responsible. Nor are all nocturnal animals seen in daylight rabid; they could be foraging for food to feed hungry youngsters. However, Dr. Murphy is adamant that people not make these determinations themselves. A profes- sional should always be consulted. Most important in being rabies mindful: VDH, DGIF, and all animal health profes- sionals are unanimous that vaccination of do- mestic animals serves as a primary level of protection for humans from rabid wildlife. Rabies Mindfulness Tips Maintain up-to-date rabies vaccinations on pets. Keep trash inside until the morning of trash pick-up, or place in an animal-proof container. Do not leave pet food outside overnight. Close up all openings under your buildings; don't provide a raccoon or other reservoir species an opportunity to move in! Encourage neighbors to be mindful as w/ell. Ammonia soaked rags or mothballs in trash cans or around buildings w/ill discourage raccoons from visiting, but must be renewed after a rainstorm. • Reflective tape, lights, or noise sometimes work, but only temporarily as raccoons will quickly become accustomed to these methods. • If you see animals you suspect to be rabid, call your local Animal Control, Conservation Police Officer, DGIF office, or in Northern Virginia the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Do not touch the animals even if dead. Use shovel or gloves to safely dispose of it. • All bites and possible exposure must be reported to VDH. Medical doctors, Animal Control, etc. will help you do that. Not all raccoons seen in daylight are rabid. They are often foraging for food for their young. Unsecured garbage cans and bags are taste-tempting treats for raccoons and other animals. 16 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Openings that lead to crawl spaces become housing opportunities for raccoons! Deer are the most common host for ticks, but raccoons and other furbearers serve this purpose as well. And More Another interesting fact vis-a-vis raccoons is that they are very clean animals. Liking tidy dens, they build common latrines in the wild. A safeguard actually (isn't nature amazing) be- cause a potentially deadly roundworm, Baly- isascaris, is often present in raccoon scat — another mindfulness item to be re- membered regarding pets and toddlers (known to put fingers in their mouths) that might dig/play in areas frequented by rac- coons. Raccoons are also sources for canine dis- temper, a serious threat to dogs. And as with other furbearers, raccoons can carry an assort- ment of fleas, mange mites, and ticks. TICKS! Those sure are critters to be mindfial of Raccoons are not major vectors for Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. Unfortunately a growing problem throughout Virginia, Lyme disease is more frequently spread by the white-footed mouse or other small rodents, but raccoons can get involved. (Link to my Bull's Eye feature at the end for details and "Prevention Per-tick-ulars!") Ticks, both adults and nymphs, wait pa- tiently on blades of grass or bits of leaf litter and simply transfer themselves to any passer- by for a blood-meal, a cozy resting place, or transportation. White-tailed deer are very popular, of course, but raccoons and other fiarbearers also serve this purpose, as can na- ture photographers like me, hunters, fisher- men, birdwatchers, and hikers like you, your children, and your family pets. Again, pets should be protected with tick-preventive Top, a female Eastern wood tick. Here, poison ivy leaves; note their mitten shape. medication for their safety and to keep ticks from being transported into our homes. Embrace with me the concept of mind- fulness in the outdoors. Be mindful of na- ture's beauty as well as its dangers and challenges. Nature is a wonderful treasure. Enjoying it means doing so responsibly. Teach children about raccoons, to be aware of ticks, and while you're at it, show them what poison ivy looks like too. Also watch the sun- rise, hike, hunt, fish, watch birds, and learn about wildflowers. You'll be glad you did. ?f Marie Majarov (miuw. majarov.com) lives in Winchester with her husband Milan; both are retired clinical psychologists, nature enthusiasts, and members of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Associa- tion. Marie is a Virginia Miuter Naturalist. RESOURCES Furbearer Hunting, Trapping, and Nuisance Problems: www.dgif.virginia.gov Blue Ridge Wildlife Center: www.blueridgewildlife.org VA Department of Health Rabies Information: www.vdh.virginia.gov/ epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/ Bull's Eye! Aim for Prevention, Article: www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/ lyme-disease/ Lyme Disease Information: www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/ Vectorborne/ Cure Unknown, by Pam Weintraub. Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2009. OCTOBER 2011 ♦ 17 .,\i m NoOl A new breed ofwaterfowlers has taken to the water. In kayaks. story by Tee Clorkson photos by Eric Ruthertord \ A T ^^ / ^L / aterfowling in Virginia requires a ^^J ^^U certain amount of honesty with ▼ V one's self as well as an honesty about weather, tides, cold water, and... swamp mud. You pretty much have to love the smell of that and not mind scrubbing it from the cracks in your hands. And then there are the birds, which can be here one day and gone the next. No matter how much you speculate, cal- culate, and try and pattern, they will more often than not leave you scratching your head. In the twenty-plus years I have been duck hunting here, I have learned that it's usually those who put in the most work and who are the most creative who experience the most success. My first memories of hunting waterfowl in Vir- ginia aren't littered with a lot of birds. I never had a good spot to hunt when I was a kid. We scraped out a duck or ler Boat Will Go There is nothing quite like hunting with a dog, but before you put one on a kayak, practice during the summer. Also, be sure to check the current waterfowl regulations concerning requirements for a floating blind license east of 1-95. two here and there, hunting public waters and the occa- sional invitation to private property. I hunted mostly with my two brothers and my father. When we figured out something new and took a few birds as a result, we were on top of the world. To me, that's the draw of wa- terfowling, or really of any outdoor pursuit. You never stop learning. Just this year, I hunted a new spot I had been meaning to try for some time. It required a walk of a few hundred yards through a tidal swamp and hunker- ing down in water up to my waist, tucked in next to a muskrat hut. But when a group of pintails drops in on you from several hundred feet up, it's easy to forget about being cold, muddy, and wet, or the 200-yard trek back to the boat. Last season I met two brothers, Thomas and Taylor Jenkins, young hunters who are not afraid to try some- thing new in order to bag a few birds. Most notably they are using their kayaks more and more often to pursue waterfowl. In a time when both new and youth hunter numbers are diminishing, it is nice to see a couple of members of the upcoming generation of waterfowlers cutting their teeth with some ingenuity and creativity. OCTOBER 2011 ♦ 19 !fl A stand of reeds like this offers perfect cover for a hunter (and his partner) in a kayak. It's swell that they love the sport, regardless of how many birds they shoot. Thomas is 22 and a senior at Washing- ton and Lee University, who will graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies. Tay- lor, 1 9, is in Lexington as well, a sophomore at VML Like most young hunters, they started hunting with their father. While their dad is not a huge waterfowler, he introduced them to the sport and they have taken it from there. And like most hunters across the state, Thomas and Taylor don't have a "honey hole " where they take ducks at will. They hunt tidal waters and, with only a handful of days to hunt on the weekends, do what they can to scratch out a bird or two. Incorpo- rating kayaks into their hunting over the last several seasons has rewarded the brothers with some increased success. Kayak hunting has become increasingly popular in recent years as hunting spots be- come more and more scarce. Large duck boats, big decoy spreads, and all that goes along with them are not cheap, and they won't always get you to that out-of-the-way, overlooked spot. Hunting from a kayak offers a more affordable option and the opportunity to reach some areas where larger boats cannot go. It was "out of necessity" that Thomas and Taylor say they began hunting from their kay;il<s. There were a few spots they wanted to hunt that they just couldn't get to otherwise. "One day my dad came home and I was spray-painting my red kayiik camo," Taylor says. "My dad wasn't too happy at ^M the time." Since those days four i^pfe flWii^^Ai ''•^e:% With a little luck, hunting with a kayak can bring good results, like these three bluebills. years ago, Taylor and Thomas have learned a few ins and outs about kayak hunting. "There are some advantages and disad- vantages," they say. First, you can't take many decoys, and second, you can't go too far from where you launch the boats. Of course kayaks do oflFer a few more launching options than a boat on a trailer. Both Taylor and Thomas are quick to point out the dangers of kayaking in the win- ter months and offer a few suggestions. First, sit-on-top kayaks are safer than sit-in kayaks since they will not fill with water should you flip over and need to self-rescue. The sit-on- tops are hollow and full of air, so if you do fall in you have a good chance of self-rescue if dressed properly. Since chest waders are com- mon and often needed, a wading belt and dry top are a must to keep as much water as possi- ble from coming into your waders should you end up overboard. Of course life jackets should be worn at all times. Thomas and Tay- lor also generally try to beach their kayaks on dry land, rather than shoot while floating. Preparation is an important element of most outdoor pursuits, and the necessity can- not be overstated when it comes to kayaking in cold water. It is a good idea to practice self- rescue during the summer, wearing what you would be wearing in the winter months when duck hunting. The young hunters usually take their dog. Skipper, along when they hunt from their kayaks. If you are going to bring a dog along on the back of your kayak, again, practice with the dog in the summer. Get your dog used to the paddling motion and ac- customed to being with you both solo and in a group. As for loading a kayak for hunting, the general rule is: Don't overload. If you have to, make a few trips. Always tether your gun, and always bring a dry bag with extra clothes should you need them in case of an emer- gency. The brothers also use paddles with white blades and hide them while hunting rather than painting them a camo pattern. The white blades of the paddles could be use- ftil to flag down another boater should they get into trouble. The basic rule with kayaks, and really with any boating in the winter- time, is: If in doubt about safety, stay home or go somewhere else. If you have a spot in mind where kayaks might prove an added bonus, make sure to scout ahead and find the shortest route that is either close to land or in water where you can stand. Above all else, never go out on big water alone. As Robert Burns timelessly noted, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go askew." The morning when I was supposed to hunt with Thomas and Taylor, I was instead at home nursing a sick kid with the flu. I did enjoy hearing the story of how a big group of bluebills had buzzed past, turned, banked into the wind, and dropped right in their spread and how the guys had dropped four, their limit. "We could have used another gun," Thomas said, rubbing it in a little, though un- intentionally. While I was disappointed to miss the hunt, it did get me to thinking. I have a little spot in mind that the ducks like to use on a rising tide that sure would be a lot easier to get to in a kayak. ?f Tee Clarkson is an English teacher and runs Virginia Fishing Adventures, a fishing camp for kids: tscLirkson @virginiafishingadventures. com. OCTOBER 2011 ♦ 21 Teachers and administrators reflect on this successful environmental education program. story and photos by Gail Brown hile most of us prefer standing in the sunshine with a fishing net to sitting at a desk on the Internet, the plain truth is to help deserving schools in your community receive Virginia Naturally recognition you simply have to come inside — for just a litde while. Fortunately, with access to a computer most of what you need to know about the Virginia Naturally School recognition pro- gram is but a few quick clicks of the mouse away, leaving plenty of time to scurry right back outdoors! To learn more, and learn it quickly, just visit www.dgif.virginia.gov/ education. The answers to most of your questions will instantly appear. You will find the program's goal: "To recognize those exemplary efforts undertak- en by Virginia schools to increase the envi- ronmentiil awareness and stewardship of its students," and the official state definidon, which states in part: "Virginia Naturally Schools is the official environmental recog- nition program of the Commonwealth." The ist of the current Virginia Naturally schools, followed by the number of years they have participated in the program, is readily avail- able. No doubt you'll notice that four schools: John Wayland Elementary (Rock- iridge Co.), North Branch School (Afton), I'casley Middle (Gloucester Co.), and St. Paul High School (Wise Co.), have received Virginia Naturally recognition each year since the program's inception 12 years ago. At Pearson's Corner ES, smiles say it all: "We're proud of all we do." % Virginia ^ y J \ yNaturally By looking over the complete list, you will easily glean that promoting environmental awareness is front and center in Hanover County, where six schools are currently recog- nized for their environmental efforts: Atlee High School, Kersey Creek Elementary, Lee- Davis High School, Mechanicsville Elemen- tary, Pearson's Corner Elementary, and Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Yet there are some details that won't fit neatly into any category, but are important to the big picture nonetheless. What you won't uncover online is that the program often trav- els from school to school with less stealth than once used to pass notes in middle school. Peo- ple simply tell each other. And if they move, they take what they believe is a good idea with them. As Linda Painter, lead science teacher and creative force behind nine years of envi- ronmental stewardship at Pearson's Corner explained, "Other schools in the county have seen what we've done and now are doing the same. When Kersey Creek opened, a good number of our staff and students moved there. They brought their dedica- tion to conserving our resources with them. So Kersey Creek be- came a Virginia Naturally School, too. Over the years, the program in the county has contin to grow." Should you want to see the application, or obtain information on the application process, stay put a bit longer. You will learn that schools applying for first year recogni- tion must supply information in four cate- gories: administrative support, resource conservation, staff development-curriculum integration, and meaningful field experi- ences, while schools seeking recognition for continued efforts (two years and beyond) are required to provide additional information each year they apply. If you should need any help with the application, or answers to a particular question about the Virginia Natu- rally school initiative, the website provides contact information for Suzie Gilley, DGIF's wildlife educator and "go to " person for Vir- Environmental stewardsfiip and community outreach go hand-in-hand at St. Paul's Estonoa Learning Center ginia Naturally schools. St. Paul science teacher Terry Vencil shared, "When we need- ed guidance as to how to expand our steward- ship efforts, I just called Suzie Gilley and she put me in touch with Mike Pinder," the aquatic resource project manager at the De- partment's Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center. "Now we are helping to restore en- dangered freshwater mussels in the Clinch River. You just need to ask for help and it's there. And this year we are doubling our ef- forts." ^^^^^^^^^^ r ^.<', 1 1 *■ ' If • i Art and science come together on the Appalachian Trail for Blue Ridge MS students. Right, Both kids and oysters win when Western Branch MS students take their math and science skills outside. OCTOBER 201 1 23 A unique project at Eureka ES involved raising and releasing Northern bobwhite quail. Right, the Quilt Garden created and enjoyed by students at John Wayland ES reflects the folk art of the Shenandoah Valley. Below, teacher Alice Sinnon, volunteer Jack Simon, and Venture Scout Silver Aw/ard recipient Rachel Park beautify the area around the Atlee HS pond. And there's more good news for those wanting to help! Schools meeting those first- year requirements receive a handsome plaque. For each year (up to nine additional years) that a school earns Virginia Naturally status, they receive a colorfial pennant with a state symbol emblazoned in the center. Pho- tos of the plaque and the pennants are also available online. Still, it is when we see the plaque and the pennants proudly displayed in the hallways, cafeterias, and lobbies of our own schools that we truly understand how important environmental stewardship is to all of us. It reveals possibilities. It helps us con- nect. And it makes us feel good. The pennants also give us pause to consider not just what project earned the school community this honor, or how they accomplished their goals, but most importantly, why they were moti- vated to do so. ^X^y is it that Atlee High School art stu- dents work so hard each year to reclaim and beautify the school's Cool Spring pond? True, it's a wonderful place to sketch and paint, and yes, their efforts have enabled the physical ed- ucation department to add fishing to their program, but their continued hard work to promote recycling and environmental aware- ness comes out of their own after-school time. "I think being out in nature calms every- one, ' said Alice Simon, art teacher and leader of Atlee's environmental efforts. "Planting and painting, growing and recording, both reconnect us to the nature of ourselves. Na- ture draws us in; it's so peaceful. " Former Atlee student, Rachel Park, earned her Venture Scout Silver Award in Scouting for her efforts to plant trees, create a path, and build and place benches by the pond. "She worked very, very hard, " stated Simon, who sees a connection between the goals of Scouting and the goals of the Virginia Naturally schools' program. Connections are also made on other lev- els. Assistant Principal Marlene Jefferson of Blue Ridge Middle School stated, "We feel a specific need to lead in the area of environ- mental education and continuing to be recog- nized as a Virginia Naturally school communicates to our community the direc- tion we are heading. " Central High School's J 24 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Central HS students are strong leaders in FFA and VAN initiatives and taught to put safety first. Below, one great park (York River) plus one VAN school (Pearson's Corner) equals science at its best. principal, Christopher R. Cook, wrote: "After two consecutive years of receiving this recog- nition, a focus on good environmental stew- ardship has become even more embedded in the culture of our school." Interestingly, Cen- tral High has a strong presence in Virginia's FFA Association (former Future Farmers of America). The fit is natural on so many levels. A dedication to environmental stewardship was certainly present in Wise County's St. Paul High for the past 12 years, as Terry Ven- cil's science students showed everyone what young adults can and will do for their com- munity. When Vencil's students discovered that the area adjacent to their school (long used as a town dump) was a wetland, they went to work and restored it to its natural state. They called their peaceful wetland Estonoa, Land of Blue Water, out of respect for the area's Native American history. Soon nature came back and Estonoa became a symbol of all the beautihil and wild things Patrick Copeland ES students and staff created a tire playground out of recycled tires. But how to get the kids back inside? that surround this Alleghany community. As more citizens become aware of the natural beauty at Estonoa, the more important it be- came both before, and certainly after, disaster struck. "We had a big flood a number of years ago and all our hard work at Estonoa was washed out, " said Vencil. "The dock was gone, the plants were gone, the path we worked so hard to create was gone. The kids came to my house because they didn't know if I had seen it; they must have thought I'd have a heart attack! I told them it wasn't about me and it really was not about Estonoa. It was about them. They were the ones that would take the love of na- ture into the future to share with others. We would fix the wetland again. The real Estonoa is what they carry in their heart. Ajid their hearts were just fine." Area schools received an immediate bump in enrollment when St. Paul closed this past year, but it is the staffs and students' sense of responsibility to their community and the natural world that surrounds them that will make the lasting difference wherever they go. Perhaps teacher Linda Painter summed it up best when she said, "Most families don't have time for gardens. Everyone's working. We have to get the kids away from those (electron- ic) games and outside so they'll learn to take ownership of their schools and communit)'. We need to start doing things differently. Vir- ginia Naturally helps us do just that. " ('*■ Gail Brown is a retired teacher and school administrator. OCTOBER 201 1 25 essay & photos by King Montgomery Fly-fishing great Lefty Kreh stood close to Staff Sgt. Josh Williams, showing him how to roll cast better. Between them the two men have three arms. "He's Lefty #1 and Lm Lefty #2," says Williams, a big smile on his youthftil face. After combat tours in Iraq, SSG Williams lost his right arm above the elbow in a stateside vehicle acci- dent. Now he's medically retired from the U.S. Army, married to his long-time sweet- heart, Lisa, and the Roanoke couple has a new baby girl. He has a good job, has sold an original fly pattern to the Orvis Company, and hunts and fishes whenever he can. Williams didn't fly fish before losing his arm, but he became a fly-fishing fanatic after taking part in Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing programs while recuperating from in- jury. Now he leads PHWFF-sponsored events in the Roanoke area. He teaches and helps other wounded and disabled veterans of all services to tie flies, fly cast, and fly fish. These activities aid mental and physical re- covery from injuries incurred in the line-of- duty. Project Healing Waters had its genesis in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Vir- ginia over six years ago. Two of the project's major fundraisers, where volunteer guides fish with veterans, take place in the Old Do- minion. The annual 2-Fly PHWFF Tourna- ment is held the first Sunday in May at the Rose River Farm near Syria; the Mossy Creek Invitational Tournament, conducted on a private stretch of the stream near Bridgewater, Sgt. J.R. Salzman's father rigged a device so a fly rod could be affixed to his prosthesis. Now medically retired, J.R. still fly fishes as much as he can. Iiing for Recovery PHWFF does whatever necessary to get wounded vets to the water to fly fish. Below, Staff Sgt. Josh Williams receives some tips from Lefty Kreh. is always in June. Between them, they brought in over $300,000 in 201 1. Douglas Dear, a Great Falls resident who owns the Rose River Farm near Syria, chairs the PFiWFF Board of Trustees. An avid bird hunter and fly angler, he maintains a gorgeous stretch of the Rose River as a trophy trout fishery and allows anglers to fish for a fee. The private Mossy Creek waters of Ar- lington's Bob Fitch, a senior VP at BAE Sys- tems, are full of fat trout, and the veterans love fishing there each June. Bob is a member of the PHWFF Board of Trustees. This grassroots non-profit organization began locally and, by late 2011 , expanded to nearly 100 programs across the country. Tliere now is a chapter in Canada, and an ex- change program with the United Kingdoms Fishing for Heroes group is in place. Richmond's Phil Johnson is the PHWFF regional coordinator for Virginia and West Virginia. He is very active, particu- larly with the vets from nearby Hunter McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center. There also are programs in Newport News, Fort Belvoir, and Salem, as well as Beckley and Huntington, WV. Contact Phil at 804-638-0245. For more information, see www.projecthealingwaters.org. (*f King Montgomery is a member of the PHWFF Board of Trustees and a combat-wounded veteran of the Vietnam War. AFIELD AND AFLOAT n\->TOs io» iHt my \OI-l Ml 1 Outdoor Classics Hmiteisfor the Hitngiy Venison Cookbook II, revised edition Laura Nevvell-Furniss, Mitzi Boyd, Gary Arrington, ed. Hunters for the Hungry Comb-bound, 299 pages Now $ 1 2.00. Special bulk pricing for quantities over 10 www.h4hungry.org 1-800-352-4868 "It is the concept of neighbor helping neighbor, of hunters and non-hunters cooperating, of proces- sors and distributors ivorking together that helps make the Hunters for the Hungry proginni a success. Tloe hungry benefit; the tradition of hunting in Virginia benefits; the deer herd bene- fits. It is a winning strategy for all involved. " —TIk editors Autumn is with us once again, and for many readers of this magazine, thoughts are turning toward deer season, cool-weather activities, and the hospitality of the upcoming holidays. What better way to celebrate the turning of the year than with a companionable volume of delicious venison recipes. Proceeds from the purchase of this cookbook help feed Vir- ginia's neediest citizens through the Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) program. Since 1991, through the voluntary efforts of hunters, meat processors, and the generosity of a diverse pool of financial supporters, enough venison has been donated and processed by HFTH partners to provide those in need with over 18,247,808 servings of high-protein, low-fat deer meat. Hunters, volunteer hunter education in- structors, amateur and professional chefs, and sundry celebrities from around our com- monwealth have contributed to this compre- hensive gathering of 244 recipes. For those readers who arc tamiliar with HFTH and purchased Volume I, this is an entirely new collection. It includes marinades, appetizers, barbeque ideas, chili, stew, crockpot and can- ning techniques, main dishes, desserts, and much, much more. There are eight methods for deer jerky, recipes for venison bologna and sausage, and for the holidays, a mouth-water- ing, seasonally-attuned recipe for venison mincemeat bars. Included in the cookbook are instruc- tions for field-dressing deer, quartering and butchering, helpful venison cooking tips, and a compendium of HFTH partnerships. Each volume is sent with an informative brochure that lists the professional deer processors and deer collection points for 20 1 1 . At $12 each, there is simply no reason not to share this wonderful book with your hunting friends and non-hunting gour- mands alike. And if you plan to gift someone with fresh deer meat this season, this volume would be the perfect accompaniment, help- ing to ensure that no good deer goes to waste. A Day of Photography in the Garden October 22, 2011 7:30 A.M.- 3:30 RM. Stay 'til 5 RM. on your own afterward at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond. Join renowned local professional photographers (including Photo Tips columnist Lynda Richardson) for an exciting and informative day about various aspects of photography! There are outdoor demonstration opportuni- ties, lectures, and displays about area photog- raphy clubs and services. Visit with fellow enthusiasts, pick some professionals' brains, learn new tips to make your photographs bet- ter, join a photography group! Planned events wrap up at 3:30 RM., so you'll have some time to practice your new skills in the garden, one of the most photogenic spots in Richmond! $46 / $35 member through Oc- tober 14; $56 / $45 member after October 14; student rates (with valid high school, community college, or college I.D.: $25 through October 14; $35 after). For more in- formation: www.lewisginter.org/events/ cvcnt_detail.php?event_id=808#i. Ed Clark of the Wildlife Center of Virginia releases a juvenile bald eagle previously rescued from its nest at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. A crowd of more than 1000 fans looked on, many of whom followed these birds on the DGIF Eagle Cam. Do You Use a Wildlife Management Area or Fishing Lake? Effective January 1, 2012, a Facility Use Permit will be required when using any Department-owned Wildlife Manage- ment Area or Fishing Lake. The permit is not required for any person holding a valid hunting, fishing, or trapping license or a current certificate of boat registration issued by the Department or for persons 16 years of age or younger. The Permit requirement does not apply to Depart- ment-owned boat ramps or segments of the Appalachian Trail on Department- owned land. The Facility Use Permit fee is $4 for a daily permit or $23 for an annual permit and may be purchased online or at any license agent. 28 VIRGINIA WILDUFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com I :dl- Pick one up for yourself and others on your holiday gift list. Where else can you get such a deal, at only $10 each? The 2012 calendar features stunning photographs and information about hunting seasons, favorable fishing dates and state records, wildlife behavior, and more! Send your check payable to "Treasurer of Virginia" to: Virginia Wildlife Calendar P.O. Box 11104 Richmond, VA 23230-1104 To pay by VISA or MasterCard, you may order online at www.HuntFishVA.com on our secure site. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. You Can Make a Difference HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY 2 ^OR T/y^ 1^ 55 Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days October 22, 201 1 & February 4, 201 2 www.HuntFishVA.com/youth Hunters for the Hungry receives donated deer from successful hunters and funds to cover the costs of processing, so that venison may be distributed to those in need across the state. Each $40 contribution allow/s another deer to be accepted. Hunters donating an entire deer are not reguired to pay any part of the processing fee. The David Home Hunger Relief Bill gives hunters the opportunity to donate $2 or more to the program vi/hen purchasing a hunting license. One hundred percent of each donation goes to providing venison to the hungry. For additional informa- tion or to make a donation, visit www.h4hungry.org or call 1-800-352-HUNT (4868). Each of us can make a difference. IMAGE OF THE MONTH To learn more about Find Gaive, visit www.HuntFishVA.com/hunting/findgame CongratulationsgotoTylerArmelof Amissvillefor his spooky image of a sign ealnng tree! Yikes! Just when you thought you were safe in the woods. Armel spotted this monster near his property in Bath County in the George Washington National Forest. Beware! Canon Rebel T2i digital SLR camera, Canon 55-250mm lens, ISO 3200, l/1250th, f/5.6. You are invited to submit one to five of your best photographs to "Image of the Month," Virginia WiLdh'fe Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230-1104. Send original sh'des, super high-quality prints, or high- res jpeg, tiff, or raw files on a disk and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or other ship- ping method for return. Also, please include any pertinent information regarding how and where you captured the image and what camera and set- tings you used, along with your phone number. We look forward to seeing and sharing your work with our readers. OCTOBER 2011 ♦ 29 Whitetail Biology Fall = Life in a Rut This is part one in a series about white-tailed deer biology and how deer behavior and diet change throughout the seasons. Everyday deer lite and social interactions in the fall are dominated by the breed- ing season, or what deer hunters commonly call the rut. By the time the leaves begin to turn color and temperatures begin to moder- ate in mid- to late September, bucks start to look and act differently. This change in ap- pearance and behavior is controlled by de- clining day length, or photo-period. In response to shorter days, velvet sheds from the buck's antlers and breeding season offi- cially begins. Lite in the whitetail world is about to get a little crazy. Bucks that idly spent the stmimer enjoy- ing the company of other males now become loners and view each other as competitors and adversaries. The first four to six weeks of^ essay by Matt Knox the breeding season is spent determining their soci;il hierarchy. To determine pecking order, bucks spar with each other. These en- counters are not true fights but more like antler "shoving matches," allowing each buck to assess the strength of the other. The day the velvet is shed, a buck will begin rubbing his antlers against shrubs and trees, making a "rub" that serves as a visual ad- vertisement with a hidden chemical message. Typically placed in high-traffic areas, a buck rub announces his presence to the does in the area, and the chemical clues left on the rub ser\'e to bring the does into and synchronize estrus. Smell, or scent communication, is a very important component of deer life, espe- cially during the fall. Buck rubbing typically peaks in late September/early October but continues at some lower level until the antlers are shed in winter. Courtship typically begins in mid- to late October, several weeks prior to actual breeding. During the early part of this courtship phase, bucks chase does in a char- acteristic head down posture, following the doe's scent and making a clearly audible grunt call — often trailing far behind the retreating female. Does are often chased by several bucks at the same time. Later, at closer range, the buck will often m;ike a distinctive head down sprint toward the doe. During courtship, social hierarchy becomes ver\' evi- dent and aggressive interactions between bucks are common. The vast majority of these encounters end with one buck backing down. If the bucks are evenly matched and one of the bucks does not back down, a fight ensues. During courtship, bucks make a second type of unique signpost called a scrape. Scrapes are one of the more unusud behav- iors exhibited by male whitetails during the rut and ultimately result in a pawed area in the ground. To start a scrape, a buck will ap- proach trees with a limb or branch hanging at or just above deer head height. The buck will 30 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ ww/v^/.HuntFJshiVA.com lick and rub the branch about his head for up to a minute. After marking the branch, he will vigorously paw a depression in the grotind under the branch, using his ftont legs to clear it to bare earth. Lastly, he may per- form what is called a rub urination. He will stand in the scrape, rubbing the inside of his back legs together at the tarsal glands while he urinates upon them. Unlike rubs, which peak early in the rut, scrapes typically appear dur- ing the courtship phase of the rut just prior to breeding. As October comes to an end, the breed- ing and tending phase of the rut will begin. The peak oi breeding in Virginia typically oc- curs in mid-November or just a little earlier. As a doe comes into estrus, she will let the dominant chasing buck approach to closer and closer distances; finally, she will stand for breeding. Does are in estrus for about 24 hours, and if they fail to conceive, will cycle again in about 28 days. After they have bred, the buck will "tend " or follow the doe, pro- tecting her from other suitors for a period of time ranging from a couple of hours to a day or more. By late November/early December the rut is mostly over, and deer life begins to return to normal. The basic family unit in deer society is a doe group consisting of a dominant doe, her female offspring, and all of their fawns. These doe family groups are directly related and may number from a couple of animals to a dozen or more. During the rut, doe family groups make one substantial change. At 1 V2 years of age when they grow their first set of antlers, male offspring are driven out of the family group and often disperse far away from their natal range. It is hypothesized that this male dispersal reduces the chances of in- terbreeding. At the peak of the rut, doe family life is disrupted by the advances of the males for a couple of weeks or so. But after the does are bred, their family life quickly returns to nor- mal. "Normal" in the fall means finding food. During this season, a deer's metabolism converts from growing (simimer) to putting on fat, and if acorns are available, they will be the most important food item — especially those of the white oak. Putting on fat will help the whitetail survive the coming winter. Matt Knox is a deer project coordinator for the ^ Department, servingsonth-centynl Virginia. @ OCTOBER 2011 ♦ 31 In my opinion, the Labrador retriever is the best all-around hunting dog you can buy, even if I do say so myself — and I do. Quite often. However, when it comes to quail or grouse hunting, a good pointing dog is hard to beat. I mean here is a dog that runs around in the woods or fields, and when it scents the bird it suddenly stops and freezes and points to where its nose is saying the birds are. A canine can't make it much simpler than that! Why I've seen some of you quail hunters stop your car by a good-looking piece of quail territory, let your dog out of the car, and en- courage it to run around in said field. If your dog points, then you take the trouble to get out of the car and go to where it is pointing. You can almost hear the dog say, "They are right here. Boss. Now take a couple of steps, flush em, and see if you can hit one or two with those brown bullets." Frankly, I think it is not much ol a chal- lenge to quail hunt with a pointing dog. After all, when a pointing dog goes on point, the dog knows the quail are there, the hunter knows the quail are there, and the quail cer- tainly know they are there. Hunting quail with z flushing dog, on the other hand (or paw), adds a few extra pumps to your heart rate. When we scent quail, we move in fast for the big rush of flush. The closer we get to the birds, the hotter the scent and the faster we move in. We like nothing better than to put those birds in the air so you can do your job. So you bird hunters better keep up with your flushing dogs when quail hunting, because if you don't, it is going to be "all go and no show" for you efforts. But back to what I was saying. . . If I was looking for a pointing partner, I think I would look very closely at a German short- haired pointer (GSP) for a number of rea- sons. They have a reputation for hunting closer to you than the EngUsh pointer. The GSP is known as one of the continental breeds of bird dog, and in Europe continental breeds may be asked to hunt game with fiar and not just feathers. WTiere in America you hunters have tended to appreciate hard charging, wide-going pointers, Europeans often require a different style of hunting. In Europe, this versatile dog had to be able to re- trieve hares, run, and sound when chasing deer. The GSP was required to act as a guard dog as well. Its webbed feet help the German shorthaired pointer be an excellent swimmer, although its docked tail hinders its naviga- tional abilities. Retrieving is not a big prob- lem for the GSP and this dog can be used in a duck blind during early season and in cU- mates warmer than ours. Americans began to import the German shorthaired pointer in the 1920s when look- ing for a pointing breed that excelled in most environments and found that the GSP per- formed well not only as a hunting dog and in field trials but also in agility and obedience competitions. Because of their affection for people, German shorthairs are also used as therapy dogs. An interesting aspect of the shorthaired pointer is the variation of its coat color. Ac- cording to the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, a GSP can be solid liver (Americans sometimes refer to this as choco- late), liver and white, or black and white, but not a combination of liver, black, and white. Some German shorthaired pointers have a particidar quirk. According to some breeders, the GSP is not a dog to be ig- nored — meaning that it is a dog that thrives on attention and requires a great deal of exer- cise. If left alone for a period of time, it could be destructive. So if you are an active family and want a dog with the affection of Don Juan and the brains of Wernher von Braun, you owe it to yourself to check out a German shorthaired. What other dog do you know that will always be happy to hunt for you and, after an excit- ing day afield, help your child with his science projectr Keep a leg up, Luke fall f uEke)f Hunt Da)^ www.HuntFishVA.com/youth -zUrZ^^uZ'- —n,sroOif/f- "Let Daddy know if you get a bite." 32 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Photo Tips by Lynda Richardson Odd Numbers are the Rule in Composition Composition can be defined as "the placement or arrangement of visual design elements in a work of art." These ele- ments include line, shape, color, texture, form, value, and space. Most photographers understand and use the Rule ofTlnrds as their compositional guideline. This is a great idea but there is more to composition. To clarify, the Rule of Thirds calls for placing a subject in one of four "sweet spots" in your camera's viewfinder or LCD screen. These spots are found by drawing two equally spaced, imaginary lines both horizontally and vertically through your viewfinder. Where the lines intersect are the sweet spots, consid- ered the best locations for placing a subject as you begin to compose your shot. The Rule of Thirds is named such be- cause when you draw the lines through your viewfinder you are actually creating three large, equal spaces that can be divided fiirther into nine small, equal spaces both horizontal- ly and vertically. Notice I said three and nine! Odd numbers rule in composition. There is even a rule called the Rule of Odds! As you might imagine, this rule refers to the use of odd-numbered elements in a composition. Technically, the rule states "by framing the object of interest in a photograph with an even number of surrounding ele- ments, the entire composition becomes com- forting to the eye, creating a feeling of ease and pleasure." An example of this would be when photographing a group ot friends, one friend would be in the center with two sur- rounding them. The result is a very simple, yet pleasing arrangement. Using odd numbers in composition can even be seen in landscape photography, as demonstrated in the January 2011 Photo Tips column, "Happy Horizontal Horizons." For the most interesting landscapes, you never divide a photograph in half instead, you use the one-third and two-thirds division of a scene. As you know, photographs are two-di- mensional. They have height and width but no depth. So, here comes another odd num- ber: make your photographs three-dimen- sional! You can visually create depth by how you place elements in your composition. A winding sidewalk or pathway placed in the left foreground and leading into the right background will create a path for the viewer's eye to follow "deep" into the photograph. Depth also can be created by the use of color and form. Bright colors like red or a large, dark object can accomplish this by drawing the viewer's eye into the background. With selective placement of elements in the foreground, middle, and background, you can draw the viewer's eye around the frame. This can be done well if you try to cre- ate a triangle with those elements. (Yet anoth- er odd number!) The triangle can be thin, long, tall, wide, or deep, depending on your situation, but it will help you place elements around a scene to create a balanced composi- tion with depth. Control ot where a viewer looks in a photograph is very important, as the whole point of great composition is to lead the eye throughout an entire image. So the odds are in your tavor! Happy Shooting! Lynda Richardson Workshops | All classes are held at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Goto: wwv\/.lew/isgin- ter.org to register and look under Adult & Family Education, or call (804) 262- 9887 Ext. 322 (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Introduction to Flash Photography on Sept 8, 10, 15, 17, and 20. Learn to use this intimidating tool indoors and out! Photographing Color in the Garden on Sept 22, 24, 29, Oct 1 and 4. Under- standing the power of color and rela- tionships between colors can increase the WOW factor of your images! Composition Short Course on October 27, 29, and Nov 1. Learn to compose a great photographic image by seeing it in a new way! Odd numbers are best when photographing a small group; in this case, shadows represent people. Here, my angelic little sister (HA!) holds a metal detector behind her head while our mom holds two fingers behind my head for an impromptu portrait on the beach. Notice how the shells in the sand subtlety draw your eye around the frame! Canon G9 digital camera, ISO 100, l/250th, f/8.0. ©2010 Lynda Richardson OCTOBER 2011 ♦ 33 ining In by Ken and Maria Perrotte Venison Wellington Here's a nice dish to try when you are expecting com- pany and you have some prime, boned-out cuts of venison. It is a twist on Beef Wellington. Beneath the crust, though, isn't a pate but a good Dijon mustard and a dirxelles ofmushroom. Ingredients 1 '2 pound venison backstrap or round roast Va teaspoon meat tenderizer V2 teaspoon favorite steak seasoning 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms (mixed varieties add complexit)') 2 minced garlic cloves V2 cup finely chopped onion 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter, divided 2 teaspoons dry sherry Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard Egg wash — 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water 1 piece puft pastry (Pepperidge Farm works well, but you can make your own) A few teaspoons flour (to flour rolling surface and thicken sauce) V2 cup beef broth 2 tablespoons dry red wine 1 sprig fresh rosemary 1 to 3 teaspoons sugar Season meat with tenderizer, steak seasonings, and Worcester- shire sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. Remove and pat dry with a paper towel. This promotes browning. While the venison marinates, chop vegetables. Melt two tablespoons oi butter in one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook until the mushrooms begin to render their liquid. Add sherr)' and continue cooking until most of the liquids evaporate. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat if needed to prevent burning. Total cooking time should be 7 to 10 minutes. Tlie mixture will not appear completely dry because of the fats. These help keep the meat moist while roasting. Season with a little sdt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 375°. In the same skillet, heat remaining two teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides, including the ends. This takes a couple of minutes per side. Set skillet aside, reserving any juices. Set meat aside on a platter. Roll pastry dough on a floured surface to %-inch thick- ness. Roll enough to easily encompass the meat. Spread mus- tard over the top of the roast and then top with mushrooms. Place meat top side down on the dough. Wrap the meat, over- lapping and moistening the edges with a little water to seal the seams. Place seam-side down in a greased baking dish and insert a meat thermometer into thickest part. Make a small slit on opposite side of thermometer to vent. Use dough scraps to decorate the top of the Wellington. Brush the top and sides with the egg wash. Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, or until the meat registers the desired temperature ( 1 20 for rare, 1 30 for medium rare, and 145 for medium) and the pastry is gold- en brown. Tlie venison will continue to cook after removal from the oven, so don't overcook. Let rest for about 1 5 min. While the Wellington roasts, add the broth, wine, and rosemary to skillet. Heat over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits, until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer imcovered for about 1 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half If the sauce is bitter, add sugar to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk together one teaspoon softened butter and one teaspoon flour. Whisk mixture into the sauce, a little at a time, imtil you reach desired consistency. Slice the Wellington and serve with sauce. Tarragon works well in place of the rosemary in the sauce and is a frequent and flavorful accompaniment to the mus- tard. Roasted vegetables, potatoes, and a hearty red wine pair well with this dish. 34 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com VI iCiGIMLA M. WILDLIT Photo Contest Reminder The deadline for submitting photographs forthe 201 1 Virginia Wildlife Photography Contest is November 2, 2011. Winning photographs will appear in the special March 201 2 issue of the maga- zine. For more information about the con- test and to view last year's edition online, visit the Department's website at: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/ photocontest. Bound Editions 2010 A Great Gift at $26.75 Call (804) 367-0486 for details 201 1 Limited Edition Virginia Wildlife Collector's Knife Our customized 201 1 Collector's Knife is a Model 1 1 9 Special Buck knife which features a black bear. The handle is made from diamondwood with an aluminum guard and butt. Blade is 420HC steel. Knives and boxes, made in USA. Item #VW-411 $95.00 (plus $7.25 S&H) To Order visit the Department's website at: www.HuntFishVA.com or call (804) 367-2569. Please allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. Don't miss our next special exhibit: Living 1- OFF THE . L ANB^ Open June 4, 2011 to January 14, 2012 Presented by: NWTF r\ dek Virginia Muieurr: ^j NATURAL HISTORY 21 starling Avenue • Martinsville, VA 24112 276-634.4141 Visit 'w.vmnh nci for more information. Download the FREE DGIF Hunt Fish VA iPhone® App Available on the App Stores^ visit HuntFishVA.com/app Magazine subscription-related calls only 1-800-710-9369 ♦ Annual subscription for just $12.95 All other calls to (804) 367-1000; (804) 367-1 278 HY Tills Holiday Season Qive The Qlft That Will Be ErUoyed All Year Long ^^tt^^^"^«tt2MIA Virginia Wildlife Magazine For a limited time only you can give Virginia Wildlife as a gift to your family and friends for only $10.00 eachi. Thiat's a sav- ings of almost 80% off [he regular cover price! This special hioliday offer expires January 31 , 201 2. Simply send us thie full name and address of [he person or persons to whom you would like to send a subscription. All orders must mention code # U1 1C4 and be prepaid by check, payable to Treasurer of Virginia. Mail to Virginia Wildlife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, VA 23230- 1 1 04. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Remember, a subscription to Virginia Wildlife makes a great gift that will be enjoyed all year long!